Monday, June 4, 2012

Well hello again
It has been non stop since my last post but things should slow down a bit now.
Since our last post the big event was confirmation.

Archbishop Pinder flew in on Saturday and we did our regularly scheduled Saturday evening service at the AUTEC Navy base.  Sunday, we had planned for all of our parishes to come together for one combined service - and we pulled it off.

People came from the northern end of the island (where we are trying to build a new church), they came from the southern end of the island, they came from AUTEC, it was wonderful. The church was packed,  the Archbishop was great, and the reception afterwards was fantastic as, people brought tons of food and everyone celebrated together.  It was a wonderful sense of community.  Now if I can get the pics and movies out of Ginni's camera into this 'upgraded' blogspot we will be in business.

Ever since Confirmation, it has pretty much rained at some point every day.  To say that May and June are the rainy season was hard to believe last year, but this year it is totally living up to its name.  When it rains here an interesting consequence is crabs.  Yes crabs.  Andros is the home to a species of land crabs that pretty much live underground most of the time, but in the rainy season of early summer the crabs 'walk' and catching crab is a major  source of financial income for local Bahamians.

Driving from one end of the island to the other as we do, we see crabs trying to cross the road all the time, as well as car upon car pulled over as people fill burlap bags with these tasty delights.  In fact, next week our fair village hosts CRABFEST - a huge festival that will see people from the US and just about every Bahamian island on a pilgrimage to Andros for the event.  If you have followed this blog for awhile you will know that this is the only time we have traffic - yes, actual traffic with police from Nassau imported to direct it.  It is incredible and, while we usually try to drop in at least once, the crowds are a real turn off.

One of the consequences of the crab migration is that attendance at church drops off because everyone is up all night beating the bush with their burlap bags and flashlights looking for crab.  I do wish their priorities were a bit difference, but the money people can get selling crab is a very real way to augment their income.  Unemployment here is huge, gas is well over $6/gallon and costs for just about everything is way above US prices. (Ice cream, for example is $10 for a half gallon).

Another event that we just lived through for the first tiime was a national election.  The Bahamas has a Parliamentary form of governmnet and every 5 years they have an election.  The ruling party was voted out of office this year and we saw the transition from one government to another.  FYI whichever party wins the most seats in Parliament becomes the ruling party and the Prime Minister comes from that party.  The election was monitored by several Caribbean election monitoring groups - all went smoothly and the transition was a grand event with all the pomp you can imagine.

Getting back to ministry.  With the celebration of Confirmation over, and the start of June, we concluded our CCD and RCIA classes.  This gives us time - or so we thought.  We plan on returning to the US for 2 weeks in June.  Our son Mike is getting married in Oct and Ginni has planned a shower for his bride and I need to meet with them to prepare for the wedding (Yes I have  been asked to witness their wedding, Praise God).  So I will finally be able tosit down with them to plan the wedding.  Also - I hope to speak at a few MA parishes doing a mission appeal to generate funds so we can build that new chapel in North Andros - keep that in your prayers.  It looks like one parish will have me speak at 5 Masses!

Well I  gotta run - till next time

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